Bible Commentaries
Genesis 40

Peake's Commentary on the BiblePeake's Commentary

Verses 1-23

Genesis 40. Joseph Interprets their Dreams to Pharaoh’ s Two Imprisoned Officers.— This chapter is from E, with harmonistic additions and touches from J ( Genesis 40:3 b, Genesis 40:5 b, Genesis 40:15 b). The two officers are in custody, till their case is decided, in the captain’ s house (not in the prison or Round House as Genesis 40:3 b states). Joseph waits on them, not as a prisoner but as the captain’ s slave. They attach great importance to dreams, and with their fate hanging in the balance, are troubled that they can consult no interpreter. Joseph piously reminds them that interpretations belong to God, and interprets their dreams, rightly as the sequel proves. Observe the unsuitable designation of Palestine as at that date “ the land of the Hebrews.”

Genesis 40:17 . bakemeats: pastry.

Genesis 40:19 . Joseph uses the same phrase, “ lift up thine head,” as to the butler, and with the sense that he was to be beheaded. His body was then to be impaled and exposed for the birds to eat. In his dream, with the paralysis which is often so agonising in dreams, he had been unable to hinder the birds from pecking the pastry, nor would he be able to keep them from devouring his body, a gruesome prospect to an Egyptian, who took such pains to preserve it after death from decay. His horror would be like the horror of Hindoos at being blown from the guns.

Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Genesis 40". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". 1919.